Abiteboul cool on Alonso’s Renault rumours

Date published: April 24 2017 - Editor

Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul has said he will not let emotion and sentiment influence the team's driver line-up in the future.

Alonso has been tipped to return to the team where he won two World Championship titles once his McLaren-Honda contract expires at the end of the season.

But Abiteboul has suggested that Renault and Alonso would not be a good fit at this stage as the Enstone team continue to try and break into the elite group over the coming years.

"I am not here to pull off a one-off coup with someone, I am not living in the past," Abiteboul told Motorsport.com when asked about whether Renault are in a position to attract someone of Alonso's calibre.

"I started working in F1 when Flavio [Briatore] and Fernando were in this group together at Enstone, so I am emotionally touched by this period.

"But equally circumstances have changed, we need also to have a final line-up that will be the right one for the future.

"I don't think next year we will be in a position to fight for the championship. So we need a driver who can support us in this ultimate fight for the championship, but be prepared to wait for the time to come for this to happen."

Abiteboul also said, though, that attracting big-name drivers would become part of the plan further down the line.

"There is not a driver who will move you from Group 2 to Group 1, that is for sure," Abiteboul added.

"But when you are in Group 1, wait for a couple of races, maybe wait for a year, and stability of regulations, and then every single detail will count.

"I think we are moving towards a driver formula rather than a team/car formula, after some point of stability. If you look into it, if you look at our development, hopefully we will be in a position to be part of the top team [group] in two years' time.